Will NHL adopt hybrid icing after test run in preseason?
Gary Bettman says GMs are in support of hybrid icing carrying to the season, but players are mixed. They should have an answer by Monday.
One of the many things the NHL is trying out this preseason is hybrid icing. It was agreed that they would give it a test in the exhibition games and then decide if it would go into effect for regular season.
Right now it's still anyone's guess as to if the players will sign off on it or not. Remember, it has to get approval not only from the teams/GMs, but the players as well.
When the NHL had the Board of Governors gathering this week, Commissioner Gary Bettman said there was a "vast majority" of GMs in favor of hybrid icing, which is understandable. GMs want to protect their players, their "commodities" at all costs and nobody wants to see another incident similar to Joni Pitkanen's nasty injury.
The players, though, still aren't quite as solid from the sounds of it. From NHL.com:
The National Hockey League Players' Association has begun conducting a player survey on hybrid icing. The NHLPA's executive board is expected to review the results and let the NHL know of its decision before the start of the regular season.
"Still gray," Carolina Hurricanes captain Eric Staal told NHL.com. "To guess, I would say yes [it would pass]."
Some of the players are leaning toward a yes vote because of the safety element to the hybrid-icing system.
That probably gives you a good indication of which way Staal is leaning on the issue which again makes sense considering what happened to his teammate Pitkanen. That said, it's not going to be unanimous by any stretch. Hybrid icing has had its share of detractors. TSN analyst Darren Dreger suggested last week that the belief is players will reject the implementation of hybrid icing.
You can see in the video above why not every player would be in love with it; linesmen are put into split-second decision mode and forced to predict how something is going to go. It's not always going to work out the right way but that's the downside to erring on the side of caution.
Whether it happens this season or not, I think it's a safe bet that hybrid icing will be coming to the NHL soon enough. Just the same as how it took some time but players came around to mandated/grandfathered face shields, they'll come around to this as well.
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